The Creature and the Tower

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story that utilizes the concept of defamiliarization, about the process of the pollination of a flower, telling it in a fantastical way.

Submitted: October 25, 2010

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Submitted: October 25, 2010



There once stood a mighty army.  It was made up of thousands and thousands of soldiers, standing tall and proud, and spread out as far as the eye could see.  Their emerald spears reflected the sunlight, pointing straight and true to the heavens above.  However, this army did not stand in silent vigil over nothing.  It guarded a tower. 

This tower, soaring above the jade army that surrounded it on all sides for miles around, was a glorious and terrifying sight.  For miles around, any enemy could see it and would know that to overcome it would take more siege weapons than they could possible devise.  The tower was reinforced with spikes to guard her against any ambitious warrior would might try to take it on by physical strength alone.  Once a small warrior had tried to use them to climb the tower, but the spikes were constructed in different sizes, so that eventually he came to one too small for his feet and slipped and fell to his death.

 Even so, at another time, a different warrior was able to use the spikes to his advantage, but after overcoming them, he found that the tower was further strengthened with massive battlements, built on and around the tower at varying locations.  These are constructed to spread their sturdy frames around the tower to shield it from enemy weaponry.  At the same time, they are smooth as well as strong, so that the enemy warrior soon found his attempts to climb the tower befuddled by these battlements, on which he could not find a strong foothold.  So, he too stumbled and joined the bodies of hundreds of enemy soldiers who had bravely fought their way through the jade army and yet been defeated by the tower.

It was not the tower itself that drew so many brave warriors, but she that dwelled on top of the tower.  No one had ever seen her, for she hid herself within a cave that billowed out around her in pink hues.  It folded and wrapped itself about her in delicate, satin sheets that seemed to barely shelter her from the wind and yet, within this cocoon, she felt hidden from prying eyes. 

She needed to be.  For it was here that her innermost being was kept.  The very essence of her soul was kept atop that tower.  No enemy soldier had yet to violate her inner sanctum and catch a glimpse of it, yet the tower and the army was in place to guard her against such an onslaught. For the rumor was that such a powerful essence would bring much power if consumed.  It was this rumor that brought many enemies far and wide.

So it was on a magnificently sunny day that the Creature came.  There was no warning of his arrival, except for a brief murmur of disquiet that spread through the emerald army like a ripple through the sea.  Then suddenly, its approach could be heard.  It was an extraordinary sound, such that no one had ever heard before.  It was a harsh, grating noise that permeated every pore of the tower and filled every emerald spear with terror.  The voice of the enemy could be heard far and wide, long before its speaker could be seen, and the air itself vibrated in its wake.

The enemy was still a long way off; in fact, it was only a speck on the horizon, when a fearsome gale swept down in front of it like a storm.  The wind came crashing down and rendered the army of emerald spears powerless.  Helpless, they fell before its strength and were flung onto the ground like so many matchsticks.  The enemy’s shadow passed over the vast, yet immobilized army, and their jade spearheads, scattered as they were over the earth, did nothing to hinder his flight.

Soon, she on the tower could see the enemy’s coming.  Yet, this was no ordinary enemy.  To the Creature, the sky was nothing.  Unlike those who are confined to the earth, the heavens were no obstacle between him and his prey.  Yet, he did not fear the ground; indeed, he scarcely heeded it and rarely did his feet touch it.  He moved through the air at will and the world did not bother him.  His hunger was great and, this being his first flight of the day, his senses were strong and immediately, he felt her essence on the fortified tower and smelled her fear.

The Creature came into full view and moved directly towards his prey.  She could see him now in all his grotesque magnificence.  He was large in size and his body was fat and gnarly and covered in knobs and bumps, giving him an old and hardened appearance.  His legs, six long and spindly extensions, stuck out at awkward angles around him.  These, as well as his head and body, were covered in sticky, sharp hairs that took hold to whatever touched them.

These were not his primary weapons, though.  The Creature’s head had bulbous eyes through which nothing escaped his sight, but he also had jaws of great power that could crush anything he seized.  He was also equipped with a massive sword with which he could cut down his enemies with a single blow.  His great membranous wings spread out on either side of him and created the wind that went ahead of him, sending out his horrible stench that proclaimed his imminent arrival.

Thus the Creature approached the tower and alighted on one of the battlements.  The prickly hair on his feet and body prevented him from falling off of its sheer surface.  With every beat of his wings, the tower vibrated as though caught in a mighty earthquake, and slowly, step by step, the creature advanced on her canopied cave. 

She trembled with every step he took, but she was powerless to stop him.  All her defenses had been stripped away by his hideous form.  His jaws clamped furiously on the billowing sheets and he tore at them with his feet.  They were no match for his strength and they quickly gave away, falling to the ground in tattered crimson shreds.  Eventually, he tore a hole large enough to thrust his entire body in and so he entered the cave. 

There he stood, his repugnant odor filling the enclosed space.  All around him, on the floor of the cavern, was spread out her essence, the components that made up her being.  They were like tiny specks of golden matter, each element more precious to her than jewels, for without them, she would cease to be.  Thus, with every step the creature took, the cavern trembled and tiny particles were scattered through the air.

The spiny hairs on the creature’s feet ripped open the floor of the cave and his mighty jaws consumed every essence particle that touched his mouth.  As more and more specks gathered in the air, more and more of them landed and were trapped on the monster’s hairy back.  And as each essence particle was lost, she felt intense pain as though some invasive power was destroying her from the inside out. 

After some time, the Creature had eaten his fill.  His swollen body was coated in essence particles and there was little left on the cavern floor.  With what little of her being that was left, she begged him to leave some part of her, but it was as though he could not hear her thoughts.  Instead, he spread his mighty wings and, with terrible vibrations that shook loose whatever silken walls were left standing after his assault, he flew away, dropping golden particles in his wake.

With his departure, the fierce storm abated and the soldiers once again stood upright, their jade spears once more pointing to the sky.  There was nothing left for them to guard, though.  The tall tower still stood, its battlements still spread around it in a protective swathe.  On the top, however, nothing of her could be found.  Her essence was gone.  The beautiful pink walls that had kept her safe were tattered and blown away.  The invasion was complete.

The Creature flew north.  Freed from the comfort of her cavern floor, she traveled with him, powerless and afraid.  Suddenly, her essence particles began to glow.  They seemed to take on a mind of their own in her defense. Indeed, even the particles that the Creature had eaten were shining forth from inside him with a burning light.  The particles shone stronger and stronger until, even compared to light of the sun around him, the Creature was brighter and became like a small shooting star blazing across the sky.

The more the particles shone, the stronger she felt, and the more confused and blinded the Creature became.  His flight became crooked, as he sighted another tower off in the distance and moved towards it clumsily. This tower was similar to the last.  However, there was no cave built on it, but there was a large, round, closed box.  Because there didn’t seem to be anything in the box, there was no army guarding it, but it was fortified with battlements, on which the Creature landed once again.

This time, the Creature was frantic.  The essence particles were blinding his eyes and burning his rough skin.  Inside him, they had melted her down into her purest form and now she was blazing through his system, seeking escape.  The Creature scratched at himself with his feet and beat his wings rapidly, shaking off as much of her essence as he could.  She fell on and around the round box, radiating with beauty and smoldering like tiny coals that burned holes in the top of the round box and fell in. 

The Creature suddenly vomited the essence from his mouth, as she expelled herself fully from his body in her purest form as a sheer, golden liquid.  She was free!  However, she could not prevent herself from seeping into the box.  Once inside she sensed… someone else.  The tiniest particles of the essence of another being, yet his essence had not reached its full potential.

The moment her essence touched the other, light sprang forth from it.  The entire box began to glow and shake.  The other essence began to sparkle intensely and she felt herself being united with it.  She did not understand what was happening, except that she felt a more potent sense of loss than even when the Creature had attacked her in her cave.  It was as though her soul was being taken away and being used by another.

Suddenly, the merge completed.  At that moment, she felt a flash of unexplainable joy, in herself and in the other essence, as can only be felt when new life begins.  The power of their joys combined burned itself into the Creature’s eyes and he could not bear to be in their presence anymore.  Spreading his wings and, slipping a little on the battlement in his haste, he flew away, never to be seen again in that place.  Then she felt nothing.

The round box slowly began to open, as the red colored walls of a new cavern began to appear and the yellow hue of a young presence twinkled from within.      


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